A bad script?

Dawn used to have a saying.  She used to say prior to cancer, “she had a bad script in her head”.

What she meant by that was the part of her mind that discriminated between good people and bad people, between things that were good for her and not so good for her was broken.  She chose to marry a known physical and emotional abuser instead of putting in more time with someone who she admitted treated her much better.

That script manifested itself in many ways like the above, but it also was much more subtle and pernicious.  That script raised its twisted head with every decision and every event that happened in her life.  It always ran in the background second guessing and never giving her any peace.

I never really experienced anything like that other than when a serious girlfriend broke up with me.  When Kristen broke up with me, I spent a month or two reviewing the situation and trying to make sense of it.  Both she and I came to the realization, that although I am far from perfect, she was the truly broken part of that relationship.  When she broke up with me for the last time, I was not happy; but, those nagging voices were silent.

When I found out that Dawn had married “shithead” instead of getting more involved with me, those voices of doubt and self recrimination came back.  Armed with the knowledge gained from fighting them with Kristen, I fought back hard.  What I didn’t realize is the depth of the emotional commitment is turned against you.  Meaning, my deeper commitment to Dawn gave the voices more food and more fodder.  It took months to fight them to a stalemate.  Once I had them fought to a stalemate, they were a good foil for me to learn from.  After all not all self recriminations are wrong.

I never really, truly defeated them.  But, I didn’t have to, Dawn came back.  They switched tactics to suspicion, but that was easily defeated.

I find myself in that same position once again.  I am fighting (a bad script?), just hoping to reach stalemate.  I am tackling those voices, but it is much like fighting a hydra.  For each one I behead, two seem to grow back.  At some point, I will at least beat them to a draw.  I do learn from them as we battle.  One of the worst things I have learned, is that I forgot many of the relationship lessons I learned from my last two battles with this foe.  That simple fact batters my pride and bruises my intelligence, but they deserve to be hurt.  If you are going to be stupid or vain, you should just accept the pain.

If I am a tad less focused than normal.  If I am a bit (more) recalcitrant.  If I seem a little lost in my own head.  Now you know why.

And they have lots of food and fodder this time, too.





Leave a comment

Filed under personal


I don’t normally post this kind of stuff.  For one, they are usually lists written by 23 year old interns at Cosmo magazine and are just complete drivel.  For two, I usually don’t bother reading such lists because, reason one.

This one is different.

#31 is the most important.  It flows from a theorem I have.  Love will survive so long as both parties in the love do not fall out of love at the same time.

#28 was a huge problem for us.  She refused to accept that I had done things in another relationship 8 years ago.  That was my past.  Something I knew she would not appreciate, but I was honest and informed.  The only things I could do and be honorable.

#29 for me is an extension of #28.  As in #28 is worthless without #29.

#18 also a huge problem.  Some came from the internet and some came from “friends” digging in her ear.  Friends who have met your mate on one occasion do NOT have an understanding.  They may mean well, BUT…

Which leads us to #9.  YOU are responsible for your reactions.  YOU are responsible to work things out with your partner, not with your “friends”.

Possibly tied with #31, is #1.  If you are looking for faults you will find them.  God knows I have faults.  But I also have lots of great things.  Not to mention, one of my faults is not always seeing how my faults manifest in time.  But when I am made aware, I make a conscious effort to make amends and correct them.  If you look for the good, that is where your focus will be.  Focus is important.

Having said those things.

She got most of the others right.  She was awesome in many of these areas.  I guess for me, I very strongly worked #1 and #31.  My natural state is #2 and #17.

I failed at #16 (substituting “women”) and I justified it by “she asked”, so I need to be honest.

I also failed at #24.  I did not do it on purpose.  I did not do it with forethought or malice.  I did it by being too familiar with others present, but I did it.

In other words, as I have said all along, we are both complicate.  In every relationship, both parties are complicate and share the blame.  Even the worst partner is not completely at fault.  If for no other reason, the other chose such a poor partner.  But, I accept that I made MORE than my fair share errors.  Apparently, tragic errors beyond repair.

But, I hold to my personal theorem.  We will see if it matters.  That is a time will tell thing.

In the mean time, I work on learning from my failures so that should she come back, I will be better.  If that doesn’t happen, then I will fail less with the next person to capture my heart.

Leave a comment

June 4, 2017 · 09:40

Fighting by letting go

I am watching American Sniper tonight.

I am doing work and doing some other things, but I am watching American Sniper in the background.  I have seen the movie before.

The scene that really got me tonight:

Chris comes into the kitchen with the Single Action revolver drawn and plays Wyatt Earp with his wife.  She laughs and is genuinely happy.  She comes over and tells him so.  She says, “I am so happy to have my husband back.  I know how hard you fought to get back.”

He smiles at her and says, “you, are worth fighting for.”

One of the few regrets in my life, is that I never served in the military.  In no way do I compare myself to any soldier, their sacrifice or to Chris Kyle’s story.  But, in watching that moment; I am brought to that moment in each relationship where things have turned to shit and we make a decision.  We decide if the other person and the relationship are worth fighting for.

That has happened many times in my life.  I usually choose to fight.

Exactly once so far, my fighting has for it paid off, BIG.  Way more than once, have I made that decision and failed.  Some would say, I should have stopped risking.  If I had, I never would have known an amazing marriage.  Some would say that now that it paid off once, I should stop.  Something about lightning and striking twice…  Some would even say that the one time it paid off, it really didn’t.  Those people don’t get a chance to speak to me again.

Call me a crazy romantic.  Call me an insane masochist.  Call me what you like.  When the person is worth it; when the relationship is worth it… I have to … fight… for… it.  It is hardwired in my DNA.

But sometimes the hardest fight is letting go.  Sometimes the best thing for everyone is letting go.  I find myself having to do a lot of letting go this past year.  I hate letting go.  It tastes like failure to me.

Today, the thing that allows me to swallow that bitter pill… the one thing…I let go of a relationship in late 2007 and met Dawn.  Then I let Dawn go, back in the middle of 2009.


For those who don’t know.  Dawn and I married in the middle of 2012.  So I guess, I know quite deeply that sometimes, that taste of failure can lead to great success.

I have that taste of failure in my mouth right now.  I hope this is at least the equivalent of late 2007, If not the middle of 2009.

The failure to let go of 1995, it is not.  I hope that lesson stays burned in my soul FOREVER.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dawn, personal, Uncategorized

a cruel mistress

Sometimes life is a cruel mistress.

The great thing on the side of life is that she knows we don’t have much of  a choice.  She is the one place where we really don’t have many options.  Yes, I get it; suicide is always an answer.  But, that is at BEST a very selfish, permanent answer to a short term problem.

On the other hand, each time a door is closed (slammed abruptly in your face), the fickle other hand of life seems to open another one up.  It is WAY too soon for me to be seeing any new doors, much less opening them.  Finality, like an ax, fell a mere six hours ago.

Today, I mourn the double morning that it seems widowers (and widows) do.  Tomorrow, I see what comes.  Most likely it is a cocktail of regret, loneliness, work to focus on something (anything else).  One thing I know it has not provided, is a restful night’s sleep.  My mind doesn’t work that way.  But, in time… things will get better.  Edges will get a lot less pointy and I will once again find that expression that graces my face so infrequently anyway.  A smile.

I hate life, for bringing me a great woman and the illusion my head was screwed on straight.  I hate that I had to learn / relearn lessons with someone who should have been a partner.  I hate that her experiences add up to a place where second chances and grace have been abused so often, they no longer exist.  I hate that I get to cowboy up a little too late.

I also realize, stupid has a penalty.  I do not happily pay that fee, but when you do the “crime” you do the time.  My hurt is my penalty.  She should not pay a penalty for my degree of stupid.  Perhaps she isn’t.  Perhaps it is her share of the stupid, as we both were complicit.  But that isn’t how I roll.

Perhaps she will learn good lessons from this failure.  I know I am working diligently to learn the right lessons.  The glaringly obvious are: I need to pay more attention to subtle clues of discomfort as more truth lies in the points of friction then in the agreements.  Focus on the areas where I am weak, not focus on the areas where I know I am strong because they are easy and hopefully will draw attention away from the weak points.

I have failed a wonderful woman.  I have failed the charge of my late wife.  But, mostly I have failed myself.  But as they say, the true difference between a good man and a great man is not how many times he failed; rather that he got back up and DID one more time then he failed.  I am not up yet, but I am working on it and I will get there.  In the mean time.  Smile a little bit extra for me.  I could use a bit of the contagious expression.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Re-learning lessons

Does anyone else ever wake up in the morning knowing that something is missing?

In my case, I know some of the things that are missing.   What I don’t know is why it is so much more acute this morning then it was last night.  Did I dream and the unremembered echos of those dreams are still tugging at my conscience?

Perhaps it was the letter I read last night.  Dawn arranged for a kayaking trip for me in Colorado.  She had done the trip a few months before.  The people running the trip brought cancer patients to the mountains of Colorado for kayaking trips as a way to help them have fun and conquer physical challenges they might not think they could.  They also built a sense of community with others who faced similar challenges.  I was brought out to an event set up to give back to those of us who were caregivers for those survivors.

Part of the process was having the loved ones of the survivor, (in my case) the care giver write heartfelt letters explaining the importance of them in the life of the writer.  Last night I re-read the letter Dawn wrote to me.  It was a powerful letter.  It very graphically told me of her love and why she felt so blessed to have me walk with her in the cancer fight as well as joining her in marriage.  I cried.

It also charged me to again find that person in myself and express that in my life.

In my last post, I shared that I have not been my best with a wonderful person who entered my life.  Encountering Dawn’s letter smacked me in the face.  At first I wanted to share that letter with my now ex-girlfriend, then I realized I shouldn’t be sharing the letter; but rather should have been living that letter daily in my life. Not just with her, but with many more people who I have the privilege to meet in this very short life.

Every once in a while, we have to face errors in our life.  Every once in a while, I know how much Dawn still loves me.  Every once in a while, I end up thanking Dawn and apologizing to her in the same moment.   Last night was one of those nights.

She charged me to “find some woman and make her almost as happy as you made me”.  I found that woman and quite simply didn’t do as she charged me to do.

I needed that smack in the face.  Perhaps, that lovely woman and I can use this current tension as a teachable moment.  I know I have been learning and re-learning things I should have already mastered.  It is painful, but no thing worth accomplishing has ever been easy.  Not to mention, I am the living example of if you are going to be stupid, you better be tough.






Leave a comment

Filed under Dawn, personal


This will be a multi level apology.  It will also be a many other things.

First off, my apology for not writing on this blog for the last 2+ months.  I have a VERY good reason for that.  I found an amazing woman who captured my heart and gave me much more than a glimpse at great things.

She is a fellow gunny.  She also lost her spouse.  Her politics line up quite well with mine and we have tons in common.  We spent three hours just talking the first day we met.  We were supposed to be involved in a photo shoot and the photographer had to kick us to actually do the photo shoot as we were so deeply involved in our conversation.

We spent a TON of time together over the last two months.  Things were evolving and growing quickly.  I fell deeply in love with this gorgeous (inside and out) woman.  She fell in love with me, as well.

That is where things get sticky.  Things happened so quickly, we missed a few things.  By we, I mostly mean me.  My personality is quite strong and my interaction with many of her friends did not go as well as they might have.  In my enthusiasm for the new exciting relationship (and lets face facts simply not being depressed and having someone awesome in my life again) I rolled right through some of her soft barriers.  Roll through enough of those and there will be consequences, especially if the lovely woman is not comfortable vocalizing the issue.  It did not help that in my enthusiasm I didn’t listen as carefully as I should have, when she did.

I have often been told I am too focused on things other than the moment.  I should relax and enjoy the now, you know “stop and smell the roses”.  I seem to have stopped to smell the roses here and completely inhaled them and trampled a few as well.

It seems that in my excitement about finding such an awesome match, I didn’t do the appropriate due diligence and assumed the closeness of the match meant that things would just flow smoothly.  Note to self, that is really stupid.  All relationships need to be focused on.  All relationships have little barbs that need to be watched for, trimmed and the occasional wound needs to be addressed immediately and carefully tended.

In what can most likely be attributed to hubris, I have driven an amazing relationship against a jagged rocky shoal at high speed.  The ship is crippled and mostly sunk at this point.  It is bad enough that I have done this to myself; but, the truly bad thing is no relationship happens without another party.  In my hubris, I have damaged a widow.  I have smashed another dent into her trust in men and ruined what could and should have been a great thing.

Obviously, both parties have some culpability.  But I have come to realize much / most of this one falls squarely in my lap.  My realization came a day late and all that.

You know who you are.

If you happen to ever read this.  Know I wanted to share this with you, but realized it would seem like a self serving attempt to win you back with false humility.

I know the well has enough poison in it, so I really don’t need to add any more damage to what I have done.  Your pain and need to end things is my shame.  Know that I am NOW, keenly aware of it.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Trust no one (in politics)

Today is a glorious day.

Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed as the next member of the SCOTUS.  He is filling the seat vacated on the death of Antonin Scalia.  This balances out SCOTUS and makes the process of Super-legislative court actions much more difficult.

Of course this assumes Gorsuch does not pull Kennedy moves or does not abandon his originalist ideals.  I am pretty sure he will be a member of the court who faces down the living document folks (Kagan, Ginsburg…).  But trust NO ONE in politics.  That means no trusting Trump, Gorsuch or anyone else.  When Ginsburg dies / retires or whom ever else goes away, we need another originalist judge to help roll back the perversion of the Constitution by feel good / living interpretation doctrine espoused by the left.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized